About a week ago I got to go see the Queen Mary, a ship docked in the Los Angeles Port. While there are many ships there the Queen Mary certainly stands out. Most of the ships are cargo ships bring goods in and out of the harbor, but the Queen Mary is an old passenger ship. It is currently open to the public and is being used as a hotel. You can go through the ship and see displays about older cruise lines, older leisure activities, and sailing ships like the titanic. It is a fun little outing to go on and it provides a nice history lesson for those interested, but why is it there?
The Queen Mary was originally an ocean liner which carried passengers across the Atlantic. It was one of the best ships of its time and extremely luxurious. She sailed for 31 years and her list of famous passengers includes Bob Hope, Clark Gable, and Winston Churchill. Not only did the ship carry civilians, but during World War II she also carried troops. During the war the ship was known as the Grey Ghost and was prized for her carrying capacity and speed. When the war ended she was renovated and begun carrying civilian passenger across the Atlantic once more. The only real reason the Queen Mary stopped sailing was the popularity of flying over sailing. Flying was the cheaper and quicker options and ocean liners fell out of favor. The company that owned the Queen Mary decided to cut their losses and sell the ship. She arrived in Long Beach on December 9, 1967 and never left. She was transformed into the floating hotel she is today and welcomes guests on board so they can experience what it was like to sail on an ocean liner.
Overall what makes the Queen Mary special is her history. While it isn’t very remarkable it also isn’t something most people could experience any other way. The hotel plays on this by providing exhibits that show off what the ship would have looked like when it was still sailing and explains the history of the Queen Mary and other famous ocean liners of the time. The experience of staying at the hotel, or even visiting it, is completely different than anything I had ever experienced before. I may be a little biased because I have a small obsession with old ocean liners, but I truly believe the Queen Mary is one of the highlights of Long Beach and a completely unique experience.